When you have extended family that works at a cherry farm, you end up with a lot of cherries. And by a lot, I mean like 30 pounds. If you thought the cherry train had stopped at cherry scones, you were incorrect. And by incorrect, I mean the cherry train just left the station. If the rest of the United States is wondering where all the freaking cherries are, they’re in my mom’s refrigerator and she’s been sharing (she’s pretty cool).
Chutney is an Indian sauce or spread that can paired with a variety of dishes. It can be served with crackers, flatbread or naan as an appetizer; some people eat it with fried or baked tofu, others pair it with various animal proteins. It can be sweet or savory, sour and spicy, nutty and fruity. Chutney is so many things and is strangely therapeutic to make. If you’re looking for a little therapy session in your kitchen, make chutney…it’ll calm you down.
Cherry chutney is exactly what you need in order to get out of a flavor rut. If you’re like me, you’re on a first name basis with your flavor rut; fret not: cherry chutney saves. It’s simple to make and can easily be made in large quantities. I will show you a great use for cherry chutney soon. You’ll be thanking me when you impress the pieces out of your date…you’re on the edge of your seat, aren’t you? Start by putting cherries in your chutney. Yooooou’re welcome.
- 2 cups rainier or bing cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2” piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons honey (depending on desired sweetness)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
Remove stems from cherries. Halve and pit them, place them in a bowl and toss them in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Allow cherries to macerate while sautéing the onion.
Heat oil to medium. Sauté onion 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, sauté 5 minutes. Add the cloves, cardamom, cayenne, coriander, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and cherries. Sauté 2 minutes.
Add two tablespoons of water, vinegar, honey and salt.
Bring to a full boil. Cook 3 minutes then reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Allow mixture to simmer 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mixture should be goopy and thick. If it is still watery, increase the heat, uncover and burn off the liquid until very thick. Add the lemon zest, stir into the mixture and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Allow chutney to cool. Remove cinnamon stick, cloves and peppercorns. Serve with your favorite Indian-style food!